Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tanque Verde Wash: Bobcat

Christine and I hiked up Tanque Verde Wash on Sunday looking for the reported Northern Parula which has eluded me for years. No luck though on the Parula. Luck was a fully grown male Bobcat. I first spotted him in a patch of brush in the middle of the wash. He then walked over to the edge of the wash. He let me follow him as he walked up the wash, occasionally looking at me. So what I have below is a series of photos of the "encounter." Always thrilling to see a Bobcat:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Birding Pena Blanca Lake

As I mentioned in the last post, I didn't get my target bird: the Rufous Crowned Warbler at Pena Blanca Lake. I stood/sat along the cattails on the south side of the cove 1/3 mile above the boat lunch for two hours but the little guy never showed. However, I didn't come home without a photo. In fact, I got quite a few nice ones:

American Kestrel

Vermillion Flycatcher

Ruddy Duck

Black Phoebe

Ruby Crowned Kinglet

American Coot


Vesper Sparrow

White Tailed Deer

Bridled Titmouse

Rufous Winged Sparrow

Great Blue Heron


Red Tailed Hawk

Marsh Wren


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Birding Green Valley

Yesterday, I headed south looking specifically for the Rufous Capped Warbler at Pena Blanca Lake, the Sinaloa Wren on the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, and the Pacific Loon in Green Valley.

As can often be the case, no luck on those, although I did get the Pacific Loon at the Amado STP. Unfortunately, you can only view from the west so the morning light is terrible. Add the problem of not being able to get close because of the fence and the photos didn't turn out very well. I'll include one to let you see what I mean.

However, as is often the case, I did come back with some other photos. While there wasn't the Pacific Loon on the Golf Course pond in Green Valley there were 10-15 Canvasbacks and one beautiful male Wood Duck. I was there first thing in the morning (36 degrees) and with the mist coming off the lake got some wonderful shots.

Great Egret

Great Egret

Great Blue Heron

Wood Duck
Wood Duck

Lark Sparrow in a Mesquite Tree by the pond

Pacific Loon at Amado STP

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Flora and Fauna of The Azure Gate Bed and Breakfast

The Black Headed Grosbeak is an occasional visitor to The Azure Gate. Often he comes around in the Spring and Fall but usually only stays for a couple of days and then is off -- either to the mountain ranges for the summer or south for the winter.

Black Headed Grosbeak Male

Black Headed Grosbeak Female

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Flora and Fauna of The Azure Gate Bed and Breakfast

We have a wide variety of cactus, agaves, and aloes along with desert trees such as the palo verde, mesquite, desert willow, eucalyptus etc. Spring is incredible colorful with all in bloom. But the last to bloom -- and usually not until August is the barrel cactus. Here is a Fishhook Barrel Cactus in bloom:

Fishhook Barrel Cactus

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Fauna of The Azure Gate Bed and Breakfast: Bees

With Rosemary growing like weeds and flowering year round, we provide food nectar for hummingbirds and bees. I don't usually photograph bees, yet have on occasion done so. Here are a few:

And it seems as though once a year a "bee swarm" passes through. They show up all at once, hardly move for two or three days, then are gone without a trace:

Monday, January 12, 2015

Fauna of The Azure Gate Bed and Breakfast: Ash Throated FlycatcherAsh

The Brown Crested Flycatcher is more common to The Azure Gate, however, once in a while the Ash Throated Flycatcher shows up:

Ash Throated Flycatcher

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Fauna of The Azure Gate Bed and Breakfast: Arizona Grey Squirrel

The most common squirrels of The Azure Gate are Harris Antelope Ground Squirrel and the Round Tailed Ground Squirrels. Yet, on occasion a tree squirrel, like the Arizona Grey Squirrel comes around. Here's one taking a close look at me:

Arizona Grey Squirrel

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Fauna of The Azure Gate Bed and Breakfast: Anna's Hummingbird

The Anna's Hummingbird is a year round resident here at The Azure Gate. For several years we had an Anna's - Costa's Hybrid Male, but haven't seen him lately. Anna's nests here between October and April. Below are a variety of photos:

Juvenile Anna's Male

Anna's Male

Anna's Female

Anna's - Costa's Hybrid Male

Anna's Female looking for flowers in the snow covered Rosemary.

Anna's Female drinking from Aloe Plants

Anna's - Costa's Hybrid Male

Anna's - Costa's Hybrid Male

Anna's Female in Nest with Chicks